Census shows rise in foreign-born


The BBC's Mark Easton says London is "a truly international city"

The number of foreign-born residents in England and Wales has risen by nearly three million since 2001 to 7.5 million people, the 2011 census shows.

That means about one in eight - 13% - of residents were born outside the UK.

The most common birthplaces outside the UK for residents are India, Poland and Pakistan. The number of ethnic white British people is down to 80%.

London has become the first region where white British people have become a minority.

Some 45% (3.7 million) of people in the capital described themselves as white British, down from 58% (4.3 million) in 2001.

The Office for National Statistics said the findings showed a "diverse" and "changing" picture.

More than half the rise in the population of England and Wales was due to migration.

Alp Mehmet, from Migration Watch, said the figures showed "how absolutely essential it is that we bring immigration under control".

He told BBC Radio 4's World at One that society must consider "the housing that's going to be needed, the schools that are going to be needed, the roads".

If people wanted "new arrivals" to be integrated, "then for goodness sake we can't have them arriving at this sort of scale", he added.

Graph showing the population of England and Wales born outside the UK since 1971

But Sunder Katwala, director of British Future - an independent think tank on migration - said people had "an absolute moral responsibility to make our society work as a shared society".

Guy Goodwin, ONS: "Census shows diverse population."

"The question of do you want this to happen or don't you want this to happen implies that you've got a choice and you could say 'let's not have any diversity'," he told the BBC News website.

"This is who we are - it's inevitable."

Guy Goodwin, from the Office of National Statistics, told BBC News: "It's a really changing picture so the 2011 census population will go down as a diverse population compared with 2001."

In other findings:

Voluntary question

The census also shows that, while fewer people own their own home, more people own it outright.

Just under 15 million households owned their own home in 2011, either with a mortgage or loan, or outright - down 4%.

The 2011 census shows beyond any doubt that the UK is now in the midst of an astonishing era of demographic change due to globalisation.

Parts of the country are witnessing such rapid flows and movements of people that they are becoming super-diverse - home to many different people from many different backgrounds.

If you want just a snapshot of that rapid change - look at Boston in Lincolnshire.

In 2001, it was home to fewer than 1,500 people born abroad - and because of a statistical quirk many of those are thought to have been people born to parents once stationed with the British Army in Germany.

Today, almost 10,000 people born abroad call Boston home - and it has more Polish residents than any other local authority outside of the South East. The 2011 census confirms what people see around them.

However, those who owned their home outright increased two percentage points from 29% (6.4 million) to 31% (7.2 million).

The group that rented from a private landlord or letting agency increased by six percentage points from 9% (1.9 million) in 2001 to 15% (3.6 million) in 2011.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said the figures "confirm that home ownership is slipping further and further out of reach, no matter how hard people work or save".

Last year there was an average of 12 cars for every 10 households - up on 11 cars per 10 households in 2001. London was the only region where the number of vehicles was lower than the number of households.

The 2011 Census results for Scotland are drawn up separately by the Scottish government and are being released on Monday.

This year's questionnaire was sent to about 26 million households in England and Wales on 27 March last year and was compulsory to fill in.

The only voluntary question in the census related to religion and allowed people to declare themselves to be Christian (all denominations), Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, of no religion or to list themselves as belonging to any other faith.

The census - which is used to plan public services - is carried out every 10 years, during which the public are asked questions about their jobs, health, education and ethnic background

Last year was the first time people could fill in the form online.

non-UK born residing in the UK

More on This Story

Census 2011 results

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  • Comment number 167.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.


    Racism has nothing to do with it. My landlord isn't from the UK and is muslim. He's a decent guy. My neighbours are polish, also not bad guys...

    The problem is, our country can't cope. Doesn't matter if the immigrants are EU / middle eastern / australian / American or pink with purple polka dots. Our country can't cope with more people just wandering in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    Internationally we must be seen as some sort of charity hostel

    All together now:

    It's fun to stay at the U-oo-oo-K, It's fun to stay at the U-oo-oo-K-ay

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    We are doing a very good job of declining, and modern day London is close now to the sort of dysfunctional city Spengler describes in his book Decline of the West as a 'necropolis'. Declined societies don't recover qv Assyria, Egypt, Greece, Rome. We had our day long ago.

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    Just watch our NHS, Welfare and Education system collapse in the next 20 years. It suits the Tories who would like a return to the good old days of serfdom, but Labour should hang its head in shame for its betrayal of the working class and middle class who have paid a high price for its social experiment. No more Immigration and mass deportation of those who have no right to be here.

  • Comment number 162.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    "The most common birthplaces outside of the UK for residents are India, Poland and Pakistan."

    I live in South Lincolnshire, the Poles are part of our present and share a Western European heritage, in couple of generations they will just be Yellowbellies with odd names.
    But why are we still taking South Asians, who don't necessarily respect that heritage, from colonies we abandoned 65 years ago?

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    7.5m foregin born residents living here?

    Given the mess our polititians have made of the UK today they must be mad to come here? Though I guess there are worse places in the world to live than the UK...

    We really do need to look at immigration though. Maybe stop 99.9% of further entries until all backlogs are sorted out & then impement strict quotas e.g. 1 in 1 out?

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    I think we can all thank the last Socialist government for their deliberate policy of uncontrolled immigration. Quite simply they were a disgrace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    another word for this is genocide

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    I dont mind people coming here who have jobs to come to and contribute to society as a whole by paying Tax & NI.
    The thing that i am against is allowing any Tom Dick & Harry into this country living off getting, qualifying for all benefits and getting free treatment on the NHS. If this is the case the latter can sling their hook

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    I served in HM Forces, and we had"Commonwealth Troops", who join up to get a British passport.If they are willing to fight and possibly die to live in the UK, it says we must still be a nice place to live. GREAT BRITAIN is my country, and I don't care if my neighbor is Black,White,Yellow or Zebra stripped,as long as they are decent and want to improve the community/country They are welcome.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    The native British chose abortions, careers, childlessness, welfare and gay rights over faith, family, self reliance and marriage.

    And now they're heading to be a minority in their own country.

    Kind of predictable, really.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    Like the EU, war is being conducted by other means to achieve traditional ends. EU is making an Empire that foundered every time it was honestly tried by war. Likewise invasions are no longer contemplated by war, but done by infiltration open borders and use of democracy against us when they make a majority. Like the EU carefully denying democracy over issues they enemy would lose the vote on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    I am the granchild of Polish immigrants who escaped persecution and am proud to be English. Part of me loves the fact that this country stands for freedom of movement but when I see those groups who never plan to integrate - I do wonder why we can't have better screening in place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    I'm emigrating soon. Enjoy your fake wealth via house price ramping!
    I'd like my kids to have a future - and the UK is not going to deliver that
    So you're going to be an immigrant then.
    Irony lives.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    @15: "God help this country and the indigenous population" I assume by 'indigenous population' you're referring to the aboriginal tribes of Celts who were later displaced by Angles, Saxons and Normans?

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    We all have compartmentalised minds. One part does not like the influx of foreigners with the extra pressures on housing, schools, social tensions etc. The other part wants foreign people to do all the jobs we do not want to do or have the skills to expand the economy. Or even produce the babies that in a few decades will be the employees essential to pay our pensions in our old age.

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    Regardless of ethnicity, religion etc there are TOO MANY PEOPLE in this country. We need a population control plan NOW otherwise we'll be stacking people like logs to fit them in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    Good god now all the racist have an excuse to vent their hate for foreigners.. For all you people who thought these racist attitudes were a thing of the past well know you know what most immigrants already know…


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